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Nielo Migration Era Sword - NS015

Nielo Migration Era Sword
 

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Overall Length: 36 3/8'' Blade: 30''
$349.95

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Blade: 
Weight: 2 lb 6.9 oz
Edge:  Moderately Sharp
P.O.B.: 8 3/4''
Thickness: 5.3 mm - 5 mm
Width: 49.2 mm
Grip Length: 4''
Pommel: Peened
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This hand forged Migration Era sword crafted by Nielo of the Czech Republic has a blade of high carbon steel. The grip is of wood and the guard, pommel and grip center are of antler, fitted between riveted plates of bronze. The pommel is likewise of bronze.



The swords used by the Germanic tribes in the centuries after the dissolution of the Roman Empire have a distinct lineage to a Roman weapon; the long-bladed Spatha sword. Although the Gladius is the archetypal sword of the Roman Empire, it had been largely replaced in the late Roman Empire by the longer Spatha. With the end of the Empire, the various Migration Era tribes that controlled Europe would locally produce their own Spatha swords, which would evolve over the centuries into the Germanic Migration Era swords, which in turn would provide the form for early Viking and early Medieval swords.

While the Romans were able to mass produce swords under the auspices of the state, it appears that the will or ability to do so vanished with the Empire. The loss of ‘’Pax Romana’’ disrupted the sourcing and large-scale trade of high-quality iron from Noricum on the Danube (modern Austria and Slovenia) and the Sana Valley (modern Bosnia). Local smiths were forced to source inferior raw material, such as bog iron, to make their swords. A smith required greater skill and time to refine such metal and this may have increased the cost of swords substantially, not only by requiring more skill from the craftsman to create the sword, but also limiting the pool of talent with the ability to forge such weapons. Pattern welding the blade was a practice to reliably optimize the materials available. A radiography study of Migration Era swords in the inventory of the British Museum show that 64% of their Migration Era swords were pattern welded.

The rarity of swords when compared to other weapons of the time in the archeological record not only attest to their limited availability, but many of them show signs of masterful construction- they are a clear status item for kings, chieftains and the elite warriors and personal retainers of these heads of society.

These swords often have parallel or slightly tapering blade profiles - these are swords with wide blades and spatulate tips. Clearly intended as cutting and hacking weapons, the form of these swords seem to emphasize that thrusting attacks were considered a secondary and less important function. In the hands of a skilled warrior these swords could hack the foe woefully and are well-capable of severing lightly protected limbs. When King Theoderic slew King Odoacer by striking him in the collarbone with a Migration-Era sword, King Odoacer was supposedly split from shoulder to waist, whereby Theoderic remarked: ‘’There certainly wasn’t a bone in this wretched fellow.’’

Most warriors would pair the sword with a shield - a particularly useful combination, for both the shield and the sword have the unique ability in that both can be ably used offensively or defensively at the same time, giving the warrior options that are not as readily available as with other combinations. In the context of the Migration Era, this is a weapon pairing eminently suited for professional warriors.









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